University of Toronto case-control study of multiple chemical sensitivity-3: intra-erythrocytic mineral levels

Occup Med (Lond). 2007 Mar;57(2):137-40. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kql104. Epub 2006 Oct 17.


Background: Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) has an estimated American prevalence of 15%, and no consistently abnormal laboratory tests are available to assist in its diagnosis. Some physicians treating MCS patients have observed changes in intra-erythrocytic minerals (IEMs). As co-factors, minerals could influence detoxication of xenobiotics.

Aim: To test whether IEM differed comparing MCS cases with controls.

Methods: A total of 408 women meeting validated inclusion and exclusion criteria for MCS participated in this case-control study.

Results: No statistically significant differences were observed. However, for copper, chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, sulphur and zinc, mean detectable levels were all lower in cases. No dose-response relationships were found.

Conclusion: IEM measurements do not appear to provide useful diagnostic markers for MCS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Ontario


  • Minerals